Reirden fired as coach of Capitals


Todd Reirden was fired as coach of the Washington Capitals on Sunday.

The move came three days after Washington was eliminated by the New York Islanders, and former Capitals coach Barry Trotz, in five games in the Eastern Conference First Round in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

The Capitals did not immediately hire a replacement.

Reirden went 89-46-16 in two seasons with the Capitals and they finished first the Metropolitan Division each season. But Washington was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs in each season.

The Capitals lost to the Carolina Hurricanes in seven games last season.

“We have higher expectations for our team, and we felt a fresh approach in leadership was necessary,” Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan saiid. “We would like to thank Todd for all of his hard work and efforts with our organization. Todd has been a big part of our team for more than half a decade, including our Stanley Cup run in 2018, and we wish him and his family all the best moving forward.”

Reirden was named coach on June 29, 2018, after serving as a Capitals assistant/associate for four seasons under Trotz and helping Washington win the Stanley Cup for the first time in 2018. The 49-year-old was promoted to replace Trotz, who resigned on June 18, 2018, after being unable to agree to a new contract and was hired by the Islanders three days later. 

Although the Capitals went 41-20-8 during the 2019-20 regular season, they were 7-9-3 in their final 19 games before the season was paused on March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus. Washington had two wins in eight games in the playoffs, including going 1-1-1 in the round-robin in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers.

The Capitals scored eight goals in the five games against Islanders, including three at even-strength (all by Alex Ovechkin). Washington scored more than two goals once in its eight postseason games – a 3-2 victory in Game 4 against New York — after ranking second in the NHL during the regular season by averaging 3.42 goals per game.

Discipline was an issue all season for the Capitals, who took a League-high 267 minor penalties during the regular season and 23 more against the Islanders – most in the NHL in the first round of the playoffs.

The Capitals power play, which was in the top seven in the NHL for six straight seasons before finishing 12th last season with a 20.8 percent conversion rate, dropped to 17th in the League at 19.4 percent this season. The power play slumped badly after Dec. 13, going 18-for-116 (15.5 percent). 

The power play was 5-for-28 (17.9 percent) in eight games in the playoffs.

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